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Technology to keep elderly in own homes for longer could save Nottinghamshire County Council £4.5million

Technology which allows elderly people to live in their own homes for longer is expected to save the county council nearly £4.5million.

More than 4,000 Nottinghamshire residents currently have devices in their homes which can detect falls, structure their daily tasks and recognise when people with dementia are leaving the home.

Nottinghamshire County Council wants the technology to be available 70 to 80% of all people it provides care for within three years under new plans.

County Hall in West Bridgford, the headquarters of Nottinghamshire County Council.
County Hall in West Bridgford, the headquarters of Nottinghamshire County Council.

This would hopefully allow elderly and vulnerable people to stay in their homes rather than in a residential facility, or to be quickly discharged from hospital.

Social care is one of the most expensive duties of authorities like Nottinghamshire County Council, with costs rising quickly in recent years.

In 2022-23, a total of 323 people at risk of going into care had it delayed or avoided through technology, the council claimed.

It helped another 719 to be safely discharged from hospital quicker, and was used to support around 400 families who were at risk of not being able to look after a relative any longer.

It is thought widening the technology would save £4.5million over the next three financial years, and would also reduce false alarms for carers.

One option called Telecare is a range of sensors which can detect falls, incontinence or people going out at unusual times. This automatically alerts staff at a 24 hour monitoring service.

Sensors can also be used to alert a family member who acts as a carer, meaning they don’t need to constantly monitor them through the night and sleep better.

Other aids can help people with memory problems ensure they have taken their medication, drunk enough and locked the door at night.

The county council says it has already saved £3.3million in care costs over 2022-23 by deploying these technological aids.

Currently 43% of social care recipients are benefiting from them.

A report going before cabinet next weeks aims to offer these to more groups who could benefit and maximise usage, and increase staff’s confidence to deploy the strategies.

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